That’s the treatment plan I have from the Fertility Associates: Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Literally!
Here’s how it went:
B L O O D
After visiting my doctor last week – with questions around “why am I not ovulating?” – I was immediately sent for blood testing and referred to the Fertility Associates. At this appointment, which my husband joined me at, we discussed my results.
“Well, you’ve got poly-cystic ovaries – and you’ve probably always had.”
Just as suspected!
(NB: I have done a fair amount of research around reproductive hormones and processes – including learning about FSH, LH, estradiol, and what is actually happening when we do/don’t ovulate etc. – but I won’t go into that here, as I am not a medical professional or trying to give anyone advice. All I am doing is sharing my own experiences, in the hopes it might help, or encourage, or comfort someone else. But what I will say, is this: inform yourself as best you can throughout your journey and take ownership of it.)
Our wonderful fertility specialist had analysed my blood results, conducted an internal ultra-sound so that we could all look at my ovaries together, and asked a lot of questions about my lifestyle and patterns – before coming to this conclusion.
My poly-cystic ovaries (PCO) are inhibiting ovulation. So, to induce ovulation, I have now been prescribed a medication (following a detailed discussion around how this works). I left immediately for more blood tests (so that we know where I am at, every step of the way) and, once the results were back, I was told I could now begin taking the medication.
(I’ve also been advised what to expect going forward, next steps etc., and am continuing to be impressed with the quality of care (particularly around pregnancy) in this country. It’s just fantastic.)
After beginning medication, alongside regular ultrasounds and MORE BLOODY blood-testing, we will monitor my ovaries to make sure they are doing their job/responding well to the drugs – and then… when the doctor says it is so… we will go home like obedient children, bonk and report back!
If the drugs don’t work for me… then we will cross that next bridge, if we come to it.
I am currently feeling positive and productive (hopefully, in more ways than one!).
S W E A T
So, not forgetting the ever-so-slightly pertinent fact that I already have a son! – we of course discussed this too.
This is, obviously, good news for me – but if you are struggling with poly-cystic ovaries and haven’t yet conceived, then it could be good news for you too…
(NB: Again, I am not a medical professional, or giving advice. I am purely writing from my own experience.)
The one time in my whole life that I have had a regular menstrual cycle, was the year before I conceived Beau. It also happened to be a year of very regular cardiovascular exercise, for me – specifically, high intensity interval training (HIIT). I would go to the gym every morning before work, and smash out 30 minutes in the cardio room – using the treadmill and rowing machine.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence, then – that I was able to conceive a baby so easily, despite having poly-cystic ovaries – as high intensity cardio exercise has been found to play a crucial role in managing poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s to do with managing insulin and some such…
So – my fertility specialist has sent me off with medication, as well as the motivation to get my sweat on! He was almost willing to bet that a few weeks/months of regular HIIT could do the trick before I even need to consider ovulation stimuling drugs… but knowing I want to get the ball rolling, he has suggested I do both. So blood and sweat it is!
I’ve maintained a regular exercise routine, since Beau came along – lots of long, hilly walks and some moderate resistance exercises, mostly – but now it’s time to step it up a notch. I will blog more about this, later.
T E A R S
Well, this wasn’t exactly on the treatment plan… but it’s an emotional and physical journey I’m embarking on – so there’ll be plenty, I’m sure!
I’m trying to stay as positive and pro-active as I can – but if things get the better of me at times, then that’s totally OK. I deserve all of the love and the grace I have to give… we all do!… so here’s to the blood, the sweat, and all the tears to come! For me, for you, for all of us!
And here I am. My journey to conception has begun.
I’m not sure how long my journey will be – but the fact that I can be found in a fertility clinic, asking questions… means I have already come so far.